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Reviewed July 11, 2019 via mobile

Gulfo dulce retreat is the kind of oasis I'm always on the hunt for. It's the kind of place I dream of going. It's a place I expect to have a long waitlist in years to come.

When first booking dolce, I almost thought it was a scam because the reviews were perfect. I literally checked to see if other reviewers wrote negative reviews for other places in the world. After going, I hope this little haven will do exceptionally well because it truly deserves accolades (even though a part of me doesn't want the world to discover this gem!)

Golfo Dulce retreat perfectly combines a remote individualized, luxurious vacation in a beautiful, tranquil natural setting. It really felt magical and personal. Chantelle and Simon are the consummate hosts, always warm/welcoming and extremely informative. They genuinely wanted to maximize our experience.

Simon makes the best cocktails and delicious homemade gelatos and sorbets. I live in Los Angeles and would say I'm extremely critical of food. Simon's passion fruit Ice-cream is something I will crave indefinitely. The fresh juices! Iced lattes! Farm raised eggs, bean and rice! Fresh sourdough bread and pastas! Homemade yogurt! Afternoon tea and pastries! Coffee delivered to your casita in the morning! Food was fresh, perfectly portioned and tasty! Probably the best we had in Costa Rica (better than Silvestre which is on the Eater "Best of Costa Rica list" and #3 in San Jose on trip advisor). We stayed at the 5-star Nayara resort in Arenal, but loved our experience at Golfo dulce much, much more! We wished we booked more days at GDR instead. Worth every penny!

The boat ride to Golfo Dulce was an experience on its own, we saw probably 10 dolphins swimming just on our way there! The driver was so patient and Channing(sp?) took his time giving us a very long encounter viewing the dolphins. The mangroves were amazing. The whole time in Golfo dulce, we felt alone and we we were! I was amazed by the lack of other travelers. I rarely saw another boat in the gulf and we were essentially alone on all the tours, with the exception of brilliant Cambridge botanists (the resort provided guides) who would educate us about the rainforest, mangroves, and bioluminescence.

We could see the milky way with our naked eye and the bioluminescence below us. It was truly so memorable.

The pool is amazing -very refreshing and clean. The casitas look exactly like the photos and are impeccably designed. Chantelle has style! The persian rugs, romantic lighting and modern facilities (hot showers! Wifi! In the jungle) were not lost on us.

There were several large thunderstorms in which the power (or wifi) did not go out. There's no AC but the nights were cool. Bed is comfy. If you want AC, it does get very hot and humid but the outdoor shower/pool and organic soaps kept me super content. The property is sustainable and uses hydroelectricity, and the shower/toilets were immaculate given that you're in the middle of the rainforest!

We saw tons of wildlife, lots of cool bugs (in our room too!- but there was netting around our bed so it wasn't a big deal, and it's sooo a part of the experience), monkeys, toucans, flocks of macaws, dolphins, caimans, snakes, spiders, frogs and a ton of butterflies (migrating in the gulf) etc!

Thank you so much Golfo dulce, you have a very special place in our hearts. We will be forever thankful for our experience. Pura vida!!

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank geauxaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2019

simon and shontal are the best hosts !! they make wonderfull food and great afternoon cocktails !
the resort is super clean and the details are noticable all arownd
very peacefull and calm, and the beautifull nature is all over

Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank yarivbl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2019

If you want to see wildlife this lodge is ideally located in its own reserve which itself sits in the middle of piedra blanca national park. we saw lots of interesting species while at the retreat including scarlet macaws, toucans, toucanettes, several guans, a wild sort of large pheasant (curacao?), white faced, squirrel and howler monkeys, a tamandua as well as many agouties, coatis and wild peccaries. On a self guided walk to the nearby ceiba tree we even found the remains of what looked like a young dear and the owners explained to us that a puma must have had a meal recently. During the night tour with one of the resident biologists we saw many frogs and toads, a parrot snake feasting on a frog, a family of kinkajous and several opossums. The best experience though was during the night bioluminescent boat trip where we were lucky enough to see dolphins zooming… very special.

Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank paolaaltamirez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2019

GDR was a delight. Off the beaten track and located in the middle of a spectacular national park, this is clearly no ordinary hotel. Access to the property is by boat only, electricity is produced with a zero carbon emission water wheel, drinking water is drawn from mountain springs and fast internet is beamed ingeniously across the gulf. Having travelled extensively, for us this turned out to be a unique combination of a genuine rainforest refuge located on a gorgeous secluded beach, with all comforts, luxury amenities, attention to detail and delicious food.

Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jurgenferien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2019

Golfo Dulce Retreat is a lovely place. Away from roads, traffic and crowds and immersed in the wild, we had a chance to disconnect completely. We were looked after superbly by the wonderful owners. The food was excellent, healthy and refined and immaculately presented. Our cabin was super: very clean and airy, furnished with soft beautiful fabrics, comfortable pillows, a fantastic mattress and... the best outdoor shower. We spent our time between the beach and the jungle pool with macaws, monkeys, toucans, coatis paying a regular visit. In a word… superb

Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank robertsonfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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